D&D Monster Manual 24: Wrath of Ashardalon – Ashardalon the Red Dragon (Contrast Paint Experiment #22)

Today’s post is of the Big Bad from the game we’ve been playing for the past couple of weeks – the eponymous Ashardalon, the Red Dragon itself. Himself? Herself? You know what? I’m not going to look and check!

Like most of the D&D boardgame figures from these games of a decade or so ago, the sculpt here isn’t an amazing one, though in this case, the size of the model really does help it out a lot. The details aren’t exactly fine – but like with the larger models from the Reaper Bones line – PVC is just more forgiving when you’re looking at the borader strokes inherent in something this size. Still, I’ve never been much good at getting larger models actually painted and I’ve never figured out how to use an airbrush properly (I know, I know). So how was I going to manage to paint a fucking dragon?

Well, obviously the answer is in the title of this post. It was time to try the Contrast paints on a really big model and see how they would perform. And to not put too fine a point on it, better to do this with a PVC boardgame model that only needs to look decent on the tabletop than an expensive centrepiece wargame model in plastic, metal or resin. So after the putty-and-scoring addiiton of some flagstones and some appropriate priming, off I went! Most of the model got a good solid coat of Blood Angels Red, which looked pretty good. I decided to “shade” the webbing of the wings by mixing Flesh Tearers Red with some Black Templar and applying from the botttom upward. I dropped a …drop of Contrast Medium on the top of each web-segment and then tried to use it to lighten the top area and keep the bottom parts darker. It seems to have worked decently. As well as it could work with one coat over an existing red (remembering that the pont of Contrast here is to get it done and looking decent to pretty good – not winning a Crystal Brush!)

For the Ochre-Yellow underbelly I used a mix of Skeleton Bone and Nazdreg Yellow – and then went over it all to give it a chitinous appearance with streaking from several of Reaper’s “blonde” colours. Claws, teeth and talons done in the usual manner, and the inner mouth went with purple rather than red for a small bit of colour differentiation. Green eyes, the usual job on the base and rocks and done!

It still took me about a week, but that’s really doing most of the red contrast in a day and then picking at it a little here and there some days after work, and then a final push on the weekend to wrap up the loose ends on the model.

I think that Ashardalon is pretty safe as a submission for Ann’s Miniatures of Magnitude Challenge for May & June. I took a pic of Ashardalon alongside the other D&D Minis I’ve completed this month, both as a scale shot for the Dragon, Fire Drake and the Otyugh for Ann’s challenge – and as a group shot.

I completed the Snakes, Cave Bears, Gibbering Mouthers and Orc Smashers for this game some time ago. With the new stuff done that leaves me with just the 3 Legion Devils; 3 Human Cultists; 3 Kobold Dragonshields and Kobold Dragonlord; 3 Orc Archers and Orc Shaman still to paint. So 14 more models to go (not counting heroes) for the game’s cast of villains to be completed!